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 Department: Department of Communication Studies
From "Living Hell" to "New Normal":  Illuminating Self-Identity, Stigma Negotiation, and Mutual Support among Female Former Sex Workers

From "Living Hell" to "New Normal": Illuminating Self-Identity, Stigma Negotiation, and Mutual Support among Female Former Sex Workers

Date: May 2008
Creator: Mayer, Jennifer L.
Description: Women in the sex industry struggle with emotional turmoil, drug and alcohol addiction, poverty, and spiritual disillusionment. Their lived experiences as stigmatized individuals engender feelings of powerlessness, which inhibits their attempts to leave the sex industry. This study illuminates how personal narratives develop throughout the process of shedding stigmatized identities and how mutual support functions as a tool in life transformation. Social identity theory and feminist standpoint theory are used as theoretical frameworks of this research, with each theory adding nuanced understanding to life transformations of female former sex workers. Results indicate that women in the sex industry share common narratives that reveal experiences of a "Living Hell", transitional language, and ultimate alignment with traditional norms. Implications of SIT and FST reveal the role of feminist organizations as possible patriarchal entities and adherence to stereotypical masculine ideology as an anchoring factor in continued sex work.
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The glocalization and acculturation of HIV/AIDS: The role of communication in the control and prevention of the epidemic in Uganda.

The glocalization and acculturation of HIV/AIDS: The role of communication in the control and prevention of the epidemic in Uganda.

Date: December 2005
Creator: Muwanguzi, Samuel
Description: Grounded in the social constructivism tradition, this study examined the role of communication in the glocalization and acculturation of HIV/AIDS by a section of sexually active Ugandans then living in Rakai district during the advent of the epidemic in 1982. Sixty-four women and men participated in ten focus group discussions in Rakai and Kampala districts. Five themes emerged from the data highlighting how individuals and communities made sense of the epidemic, the omnipresence of death, how they understood the HIV/AIDS campaign, and how they are currently coping with its backlash. The study concludes that HIV/AIDS is socially constructed and can be understood better from local perspectives rather than from a globalized view. The study emphasizes the integration of cultural idiosyncrasies in any health communication campaigns to realize behavioral change.
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Grounds-Based and Grounds-Free Voluntarily Child Free Couples: Privacy Management and Reactions of Social Network Members

Grounds-Based and Grounds-Free Voluntarily Child Free Couples: Privacy Management and Reactions of Social Network Members

Date: May 2009
Creator: Regehr, Kelly A.
Description: Voluntarily child free (VCF) individuals face stigmatization in a pronatalist society that labels those who do not want children as deviant. Because of this stigmatization, VCF couples face privacy issues as they choose to reveal or conceal their family planning decision and face a variety of reactions from social network members. Therefore, communication privacy management and communication accommodation theory was use to examine this phenomenon. Prior research found two different types of VCF couples: grounds-based and grounds-free. Grounds-based individuals cite medical or biological reasons for not having children, while grounds-free individuals cite social reasons for not having children. The purpose of this study is to examine how grounds-based and grounds-free VCF couples manage their disclosure of private information and how social network members react to their family planning decision. Findings revealed that grounds-free individuals are more likely to engage in the self-defense hypothesis and grounds-based individuals are more likely to engage in the expressive need hypothesis. Grounds-based individuals were asked about their decision in dyadic situations, whereas grounds-free individuals were asked at group gatherings. Additionally, social network members used under-accommodation strategies the most frequently and grounds-free individuals experienced more name calling than grounds-based. Finally, while grounds-free individuals experienced non-accommodation and ...
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"He's a Human, You're a Mermaid": Narrative Performance in Disney's The Little Mermaid

"He's a Human, You're a Mermaid": Narrative Performance in Disney's The Little Mermaid

Date: May 2010
Creator: Polanco, Raquel
Description: Disney animation represents a powerful source of economic and cultural production. However, following the death of Walt Disney, the animation division found itself struggling to survive. It was not until the 1989 release of the hugely successful animated film The Little Mermaid that Disney would reclaim its domination among children's cultural producers. Additionally, The Little Mermaid inaugurated a shift in Disney's portrayals of gender as the company replaced the docile passive princess characteristic of its previous animated films with a physically active and strong willed ambitious heroine. Grounded in an understanding of Disney's cultural significance as dominant storyteller, the present study explores gender in The Little Mermaid by means of narrative performativity. Specifically, I analyze the film's songs "Part of Your World," "Under the Sea," and "Poor Unfortunate Souls" as metonymic narrative performances of gender that are (1) embodied, (2) materially situated, (3) discursively embedded and (4) capable of legitimating and critiquing existing power relations.
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Ideographs, Fragments, and Strategic Absences: An Ideographic Analysis of <Collateral Damage>

Ideographs, Fragments, and Strategic Absences: An Ideographic Analysis of <Collateral Damage>

Date: December 2008
Creator: Rhidenour, Kayla
Description: This study examined the ideograph of <collateral damage> through an analysis of the Bush Administration's rhetoric as well as visual photographs of Iraqi civilian deaths. The project argues that the psycho-dynamic rhetoric of the Bush Administration during a time of visual censorship lead to the dehumanization of Iraqi civilian deaths during the War in Iraq. The method consisted of a textual analysis of the Bush Administration's rhetoric and continued with a content analysis of news media's photographs. The author argues that critics gain a deeper understanding of the disappearing dead phenomenon of Iraqi civilians by examining ideographic fragments of psycho-dynamic rhetoric.
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In good communication and in bad: A study of premarital counseling and communication skills in newlywed couples.

In good communication and in bad: A study of premarital counseling and communication skills in newlywed couples.

Date: May 2009
Creator: Norvell, Karen
Description: This study examined the effects of premarital counseling on newlywed communication. It was predicted that individuals who had participated in premarital counseling would have lower levels of demand/withdrawal communication and higher levels of spousal support. The effects of the format of the counseling were also examined. Individuals who had been married less than two years completed a survey measuring their marital satisfaction, levels of demand/withdraw, and perceived spousal support. Social learning theory was used as a theoretical lens. Results suggested that participating in premarital counseling has no affect on newlywed communication. Newlyweds who had been exposed to a group format during their counseling had higher marital satisfaction than those who had just participated in a one-on-one format with a counselor.
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Incorporating Flow for a Comic [Book] Corrective of Rhetcon

Incorporating Flow for a Comic [Book] Corrective of Rhetcon

Date: May 2010
Creator: Castleberry, Garret
Description: In this essay, I examined the significance of graphic novels as polyvalent texts that hold the potential for creating an aesthetic sense of flow for readers and consumers. In building a justification for the rhetorical examination of comic book culture, I looked at Kenneth Burke's critique of art under capitalism in order to explore the dimensions between comic book creation, distribution, consumption, and reaction from fandom. I also examined Victor Turner's theoretical scope of flow, as an aesthetic related to ritual, communitas, and the liminoid. I analyzed the graphic novels Green Lantern: Rebirth and Y: The Last Man as case studies toward the rhetorical significance of retroactive continuity and the somatic potential of comic books to serve as equipment for living. These conclusions lay groundwork for multiple directions of future research.
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"It's never been this bad...ever": An analysis of K-12 teachers' standpoints related to parent-teacher communication.

"It's never been this bad...ever": An analysis of K-12 teachers' standpoints related to parent-teacher communication.

Date: May 2009
Creator: Thomas-Seltzer, Ashley
Description: With the rise of "helicopter" parents within primary and secondary education, school officials nationwide have started to address how to manage parental involvement in the educational system, specifically with regard to parent-teacher communication. Beginning in the 1980s, school administrators actively implemented programs targeting increased parental involvement in K-12 public schools, though the use of contact and relationship building strategies, in order to substantiate school-teacher-parent communication and further parental influence over decision making processes. While administrators and parents may view parent-teacher interactions as productive, teachers' negative experiences with parents may lead to stress, burnout, and attrition. Researchers have indicated that between 20 and 50% of first through third year teachers leave the profession due to increased, long-term stress, unrealistic workload, and an overall feeling of decreased personal and professional fulfillment. Likewise, through educational reform initiatives to standardize curriculum and increase parental involvement within public schools, teachers' roles within the educational system have shifted from positions of power, to figureheads for the system. The purpose of this study is to examine public school K-12 teachers' standpoints as they relate to parent-teacher communication.
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Leadership Communication Among Kindergarten Children in a Structured Play Environment

Leadership Communication Among Kindergarten Children in a Structured Play Environment

Date: August 1995
Creator: Giraud, Jeffrey B. (Jeffrey Brian)
Description: This study examines the enactment of leadership communication during videotaped play sessions of thirty kindergarten children. Eighteen of the children demonstrated skills in a cluster of five specific leadership behaviors. All five coders agreed that these eighteen children were sometimes leaders of their individual triad. The coders further agreed that the leadership in the triads flowed from one child to another as the session progressed. The study concluded that leadership is a facilitative process that is fluid rather than statically centered in one or more participants.
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Learner-to-Learner: Refocusing the Lens of Educational Immediacy

Learner-to-Learner: Refocusing the Lens of Educational Immediacy

Date: May 2009
Creator: Keller, Christine Ida
Description: As the current body of instructional communication research focuses primarily on the relationship between teacher and learner, three studies investigating the relationship between learners were completed in order to better understand how student motivation and learning are influenced by learner-to-learner immediacy behaviors within the college classroom environment. Study I resulted in an extensive list of both positive and negative verbal and nonverbal immediacy behaviors commonly used by learners. Study II required the comparison of the behaviors identified in study one to existing measures of teacher to learner immediacy behaviors, producing a new measure focusing on learner-to-learner immediacy. Following a pilot survey, the reliability of this new measure was determined through face validity and factor analysis, producing the Learner-to-Learner Immediacy Behavior Scale. In Study III, the Learner-to-Learner Immediacy Behavior Scale was combined with Christophel's 1990 Immediacy Behavior Scale, Cognitive Learning Scale, Affective Learning Scale, and Trait and State Motivation Scales and administered to 273 undergraduate students to test the affects of common learner-to-learner immediacy behaviors on student state motivation, affective learning, and perceptions of cognitive learning loss. Multiple regression analyses indicated learner-to-learner immediacy as functioning similarly to teacher-to-student immediacy when mediated through state motivation in its influence on student affective learning ...
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